The Make-A-Wish Foundation began after U.S. Customs Officer Tommy Austin told a colleague at the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) about a seven-year-old boy he knew named Chris Greicius, who had leukemia and whose dream was to be a police officer. During the days prior to Chris’s passing in May 1980, Austin worked with DPS Officer Ron Cox and others to create a full-day experience that allowed Chris to fulfill his wish before he died. He was inducted as an honorary police officer, outfitted with a full and personally tailored uniform, and given a ride in a helicopter. Fellow officers Frank Shankwitz and Scott Stahl were amazed by how many people were so touched by the story. Several DPS officers and members of their friends and family got together that summer and decided to establish a wish-granting organization. From humble beginnings and a $15 donation from a local grocery store manager, the group was eventually officially recognized as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization by November 1980 and granted its first official wish to Frank Poncho “Bopsy” Salazar, who was able to be a fireman, take a trip to Disneyland, and ride in a hot-air balloon before he passed away.